Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Star Wars Allegiance" and Mara Jade

Hi there Star Wars Expanded Universe fans! As I mentioned in our last posting, a podcast is in the works and we hope to get it up soon. In the meantime, we wanted to give you a heads-up about the topic we have chosen to discuss in our first podcast. This will also give everyone enough time to do their own research and contribute to the blog and podcast.

While this summer will mark the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, the travelers of the Jundland Wastes have been notified that another significant anniversary is right on the horizon. Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the first Timothy Zahn Star Wars novel "Heir to the Empire". Special thanks to our friends at theforce.net and forcecast.net for reporting on it a week or so ago. Without a doubt, the three book Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn came out at a time when the there was very little in the way of expanded universe material. Granted there were the Marvel comics which gave us some adventures in the expanded universe and some novels which took place before Star Wars: A New Hope. But I believe it was Zahn's trilogy which convinced fans that there were still many stories to enjoy and characters to met in the Star Wars expanded universe. And I personally believe that Timothy Zahn is the most readable of the all the Star Wars authors. We will most likely revisit these novels next year to celebrate this anniversary.

However, the title we have decided to discuss is Zahn's "Star Wars Allegiance". This stand alone novel was published in early 2007 and received some pretty good reviews. The story takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. And it is great to read about Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca and Darth Vader during the classic trilogy era. Plus, we get to read about Mara Jade as the Emperors Hand.

In addition, our second podcast will be a character analysis of Mara Jade. She is by far my favorite expanded universe character. While Princess Leia was the first female character we met in the Star Wars universe that shows some Force abilities (i.e. sensing Luke's perilous position and coming to his rescue at the end of ESB), the first real experienced female with full Force abilities was Mara Jade. We read about her redemption, marriage to Luke Skywalker, the birth of her son Ben, her heroic demise and we have even encountered her Force ghost in the Fate of the Jedi novel Abyss. Her striking appearance in graphic novels, trading cards and role playing game cards have also given us a "canonized" picture in our imagination.

Stay tuned for updates regarding our podcast! We hope to have these episodes posted and on iTunes in the not too distant future. In the meantime, get your hands on a copy of "Star Wars Allegiance" at the bookstore or your local library.

All the best,
Mark and Dan

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Welcome to the Jundland Wastes

"The Jundland Wastes are not to be traveled lightly."
- Obi Wan Kenobi from Star Wars: A New Hope

Welcome to "Traveling the Jundland Wastes"! This is your new source for exploring and discussing the issues, ideas and the imagination in the Star Wars expanded universe.

There is not a better time to be a Star Wars fan. Authors, artists and fans who have enjoyed the six theaterical releases are continuing to explore and expand the universe that George Lucas set into action back in 1977. Who could have imagined that we would be enjoying stories of the Old Republic 4000 years before the Skywalkers? Or delving into the adventures of Luke, Han, Leia and their families after Return of the Jedi? Who could have imagined that such characters as General Thrawn, Darth Bane, Darth Revan, Jacen Solo, Jaina Solo or Mara Jade would have had as much of an impact as those characters who appeared on the silver screen? The plethora of novels and graphic novels have been a great medium to explore the expanded universe. And let's not forget the fantastic video games, audio dramas, trading cards and even art and illustrations that have sparked our imagination.

With this new blog, we want to give fans of the Star Wars expanded universe a new place to share their fandom. In addition, we are planning a new podcast in which we will discuss novels, graphic novels, video games or even explore an expanded universe character in depth. And we are both hoping that we will all have lots of fun sharing thoughts, ideas and even our own expanded universe stories and art.

Saddle up your bantha or jump into your landspeeder! We're traveling the Jundland Wastes and hope you will join us! Hopefully, we will avoid dangerous Tusken Raiders but met some great fans of the Star Wars expanded universe along the way. We are looking forward to hearing from you! Stay tuned for updates about the upcoming podcast!

You can contact us at JundlandWastesPodcast@gmail.com.

All the best,
Mark and Dan
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